Saturday, 7 June 2014

Draw Systems 2013/14 Season Review

I think in many ways, the review of the Draw systems this Summer is maybe one of the most important reviews this Summer. At the start of the season, I was really keen to see how my draw ratings and systems would do. I put a lot of work into developing these systems last Summer and like anything in life, when you develop something, you hope to see them go on to do well.

After the first month of the season when the Draw systems made a loss, I probably jumped the gun by saying I had little confidence in the systems. I was struggling a little with the higher average odds I think and seeing a strike rate that’s a little lower than I’m used to. I guess my other systems have Home bets which increase the strike rates on them but with Draws, the average odds are always going to be around 3.45 and therefore, your strike rate isn’t going to be too high at these odds.

Once the systems had recovered the losses and followed it up with a very solid run of monthly results, my confidence grew and grew and I think it was after February that I really started to sit up and take notice of these Draw systems. One thing I started doing then was tracking the underlying results of the UK leagues and it started to hit me that it was a very difficult season for backing the Draw and yet, my systems were doing pretty good.

Unfortunately, as always happens in life, just when you think you have it cracked, the systems had a poor April and May and ultimately, they made a loss over the last 20% of bets last season. Hence, they started poorly, ended poorly but the in between wasn’t too bad at all!

Before we get on to looking at the results, let’s remind ourselves of the difficulties those backing the draw faced this season. Here’s a recap of the underlying results:

As you can see, the overall strike rate was only 26% and this is actually the lowest strike rate of the past 4 years I’ve been keeping ratings. The Premiership and SPL were both very difficult leagues with strike rates of 20.6% and 22.3% respectively whereas League Two was a dream for draws with a strike rate of 32% and an ROI of 12.4%.

Looking at the results by month, September and April were the toughest months by far.

OK, here’s the results of all the Draw systems this season:

At a high level, a profit of 229.6pts from 2,535 is a great result and an ROI of 9.1%. However, it wasn’t all good news and there are some interesting trends to comment on.

Firstly, the algorithms didn’t actually end up with that impressive results. The first draw algorithm made a profit of 3.5% if backing all bets and the second draw algorithm made a profit of only 0.6%. It’s amazing how good the overall profits were on these systems considering the ratings didn’t perform that well but of course, we need to take the results in context of how difficult the season was generally. In addition, although you can’t see it here, backing 1pt on every draw bet throw up on either algorithm was a loss making strategy over the season. Hence, it wasn’t the best season for my draw ratings by any means.

The other issue was the filtering of the ratings on the first draw algorithm. It worked like a dream from D1 to D2 and D2 made an unbelievable return of 19.6%. However, D2 to D3 didn’t work at all and D3 made a loss. Quite a confusing picture really although as always, the sample size on D3 isn’t huge and there weren’t enough bets to show the edge the system has I suspect.

On the second draw algorithm, the filtering worked like a dream. 12.3% ROI on system D7 is a great result. 

As always, when looking at the combined systems, we need to analyse one main thing, did the cross referring of the algorithms improve the results?

System D1-D6 did an amazing job this season. An 11.3% ROI from 390 bets. Being honest, the top 4 combined systems all did an amazing job this season. D1-D7 made a profit of 15% from 188 bets. The best performing systems were D2-D6 and D2-D7.  A special mention to system D2-D7 I think which made a profit of 38.3% from 104 bets. This is the brother of system 7-22 (which of course has lost its halo this season!) and system 32-42 (which had a losing season too).

The issue on the Draw combined systems not surprisingly comes from systems D3-D6 and D3-D7. Given D3 was loss making, it is difficult for these two combined systems to make a profit. The sample sizes are very small and therefore, I’m not sure these top two combined systems are worth following in future as they’ll need some luck to make a profit over the season with such a small sample size.

Overall then, a really strong performance from some of the Draw systems but of course, if anyone chose to follow systems D3, D3-D6 or D3-D7 (of if you are Steve, follow two of these draw systems!), then you may not have had such a high opinion of the draw systems. If you chose to follow one or more of the top 4 Draw combined systems, then I suspect your opinion of the Draw systems is a little bit different to Steve.

Let’s take a quick look at some other breakdowns of the Draw returns for this season. Here’s the results by month:

If you look back at the Underlying results by month, you will recall that the two toughest months by far were September and April.  These were the only two months my Draw systems suffered a loss.  No coincidence I’m sure and it again highlights what I’ve been saying for a while around how much my results are correlated to the Underlying results.

Here’s the results by league:

Again, if you look back at the Underlying results by league, you will see that the Championship and League Two were the two leagues where you could have made a profit from backing all games to be a Draw. Not surprisingly, my returns in these two leagues were astronomical and a 28% ROI in the Championship is an unreal return I think. League Two wasn’t too far behind with a return of 15.3% as the sample size was much larger in League Two.

The Underlying results pointed to the Premiership and SPL as being the toughest two leagues last season for Draws and this is backed up by my returns in these leagues. My systems only managed a 17.8% strike rate in the Premiership and SPL  and losses of 38% were achieved which is far worse than the Underlying results.

I guess one thing I should make clear is that I don’t believe that the results by league or month mean anything. Every season, trends will change and underlying results will vary across leagues and my returns will therefore vary across leagues but as long as my systems have enough bets across the various leagues, the edge should show through and a profit be achieved. I would steer anyone away from trying to draw conclusions from this data over one season as it really doesn’t mean much.

Think back to League Two Aways and the fact that for the first 3 seasons, I couldn’t make any profit from these bets at all. Last season,  League Two Aways accounted for a huge chunk of my profits on the outright systems as the strike rate for backing all League Two Aways was higher than the last few seasons.

Lastly, let’s take a quick look at the results by odds ranges:

I find this a fascinating picture tbh. Quite simply, if you were trying to back bigger priced draws last season, you had no chance! My systems only hit a 10.6% strike rate on bets where the average odds were 3.96 for all draws greater than 3.71. Crazy really. All the profits on the Draw systems came from bets priced 3.31 to 3.50 and the other 40% of bets made a large loss.

Let’s look at the targets for next season:

Before I discuss the future targets, a quick comment on just how good the season past was. System D2-D7 managed to achieve a ROC of 114% and system D2 achieved a ROC of 112%! Unbelievable returns and shows how special a season it was for these draw systems. On average across the 11 draw systems, an ROC of 46% was achieved. I think this is as good as I’ve had for a set of 11 systems over a season.

When setting the targets for next season, I have deliberately tried to play on the pessimistic side. I don’t believe one live season of amazing results should influence the future targets too much and therefore, I have stuck with a longer term view. D2-D6 and D2-D7 are probably the two draw systems to take from the season although given what I have said in other reviews, we may have to ask ourselves what we gain from cross referring other systems with system D2. If we had another season like this one for system D2, I suspect we wouldn’t need to worry too much about other draw systems!

That completes the review of the draw systems. I do think there is an amazing amount of potential here for these Draw systems but as always, one season isn’t long enough to make too many conclusions. I think the thing that excites me the most is that the season past is the toughest season anyone backing draws would have had for years in these leagues and yet, a couple of my systems doubled their betting bank! If they can do this during a really tough season, what will they do during a more normal season or what happens if we have a season where the draw strike rate is higher than normal……the mind boggles!

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